LACBA Immigration and Nationality Law Section Hosts EB-5 Investor Visa Program Seminar
The EB-5 program has been booming in recent years, particularly among wealthy individuals in China, who make up 89.6 percent of all applicants. However, interest in the EB-5 program is expanding globally, especially in Latin America, where it provides a viable path toward U.S. permanent residency.
Under the EB-5 program, investments can be made directly in a job-generating commercial enterprise or a federally designated “regional center,” a third-party-managed investment vehicle that assumes responsibility for creating the requisite jobs. Examples of regional centers include hotel and apartment building developments, for which the program has become a major source of capital.
Though Congress debated proposals to reform the visa program, which was set to expire on September 30, 2015, lawmakers eventually decided to extend it without any changes for another year. Congress temporarily extended the EB-5 program to allow qualifying foreign investors to apply for permanent residency until September 2016.
More than 160 people attended the conference to gain an understanding of the Immigration Investor Program office review process, the new United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office handling all EB-5 matters, and country-specific issues related to proof of source of funds. This conference also addressed fast-growing markets including countries from Latin America and possible lifting of sanctions against Iran and included a special session to discuss the recent wave of Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement actions against immigration attorneys and migration agents acting as brokers without proper registration.